Saturday, August 26, 2017

2017 NYRR Percy Sutton 5K: Volunteering

Last year I ran the Percy Sutton 5k (an initially hilly course, with a flat finish).  This year I was a volunteer and it took care of my +1 for 2017.  I had planned to run the race because it was a team points event.  But with the Sri Chinmoy Marathon on Thursday, it volunteering at the Start/Finish seemed like a much better choice :D

The absolute highlight of the morning was watching a guy get down on his knee and propose to (his totally stunned) girlfriend at the finish!  I've been at a lot of races over the years (and have heard of proposals every now and then) - but this was the first time I witnessed such a happy moment up close and personal (I was just a few feet away when it happened)!

Now I just need two more races to wrap up my 9+1 (and one will be the NYCM).  I'll probably run #8 next month (either 5th Avenue Mile or the Bronx 10 Miler).

Friday, August 25, 2017

2017 Sri Chinmoy Marathon: Race Report


This was my third time running the Sri Chinmoy Marathon at Rockland Lake (albeit the last time was way back in August, 2009).  Previously, it had been called the Self-Transcendence Marathon.  Despite the official name change to honor Sri Chinmoy himself, my race bib still used the old name.  There are very few official marathons run mid-week, such as on a Thursday (and the 2009 edition was actually held on a Tuesday).  That made running the Sri Chinmoy Marathon feel as if I was playing hooky from my day job :D

I will say that entering the race was a last minute decision.  When I missed the Escarpment Trail Run at the end of last month - a 30k trek up and over a few mountains that typically takes me 5+ hours to complete - I figured the easiest way to atone was to spend 4 hours or so running a marathon!  Since Rockland Lake is 30 minutes from my house, just over the Tappan Zee Bridge, it was a very easy decision.

Despite the relative convenience, I haven't run a marathon since the 2016 NYC Marathon!  In fact, the longest training runs I've done in the last few months ranged from 15-18 miles (with half marathon distances more likely on the weekends).  So my initial plan was to treat the event as a long training run.  I wanted to run 20 miles at roughly an 8:40 pace (around 2:50) and then walk/jog the remaining 10k.  Given the tough heat/humidity that surrounds a late-August event, I thought that was a more realistic objective.

Luckily, the weather Gods smiled upon us yesterday.  While the humidity was pretty high throughout the morning, we started off with temperatures in the 60s!  The course itself, a just under 3 mile loop around the lake, is mostly shaded.  There are a few open patches of road, but very manageable combination.  On the plus side, the course is basically flat! Altogether we did 8 full loops of the lake and 3/4 of a ninth loop.  There were 3 aid stations spread out along the course.

This event reminds me of the typical 6 hour ultra than your typical road marathon.  A good number of runners had drop bags and chairs lining the start/finish area.  Most of the runners were focused on completing the distance, rather than a particular time objective.  It was much more a social atmosphere than would be found at more commercial races.

As for my performance, I ran the first 8 loops in a relatively consistent pace.  After the first two loops you pretty much knew what to expect, what was ahead so to speak.  I was positive that the course was long.  Each mile was clearly marked with a placard (that also listed the loop # in addition to the actual mile itself).  My Strava/MapMyRun programs were consistently reeling off the mile marks before the official markers.  In fact, at the end of the race Strava had 26.6 miles as the distance (and MapMyRun came in at 27.7+)!

That said, I reached 20 miles between 2:50/2:55 and felt pretty good.  Not sure what to attribute that to, but I reckoned that I had just over an hour to finish the last 10k and come in under 4 hours.  I went for another 2 miles in that mindset - then boom, I hit the wall!  At the start of mile 23 I just fell into a dark patch and switched over to walking (this happened without warning, as if someone had simply flipped a switch).  I wallowed in that mood for about 5 minutes or so, then just as suddenly it lifted.  I started to shuffle along - and by the end of mile 23 was back to running!

Except for that patch in during mile 23, I kept moving at roughly the same pace.  During the last few miles, beginning at 22 and continuing straight through to the finish, I was beset by some calf cramping.  I wore compression sleeves to forestall that issue.  From prior experience, I'm sure the cramps would have been much more pronounced/worse without the sleeves!  Other than that, I had no physical issues.

I finished in 3:56:43, a 9:01 pace for 26.2 miles (slightly faster for 26.6 - haha).  Afterwards I filled up on watermelon - and then headed home.  The traffic Gods must have been on board with the weather Gods because the traffic back across the bridge was surprising light!  All in all it was a fun morning!  Many thanks to the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team and volunteers for putting on another fantastic event!

Here are a few of my race photos.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

2017 Sri Chinmony Marathon: Race Photos & Results

This was my third time running a mid-week marathon at Rockland Lake Park.  The first was way back in 2007 (and Sri Chinmony himself was at the event).  Back then (and the second i one I ran a couple of years later) the race was called the Self-Transcendence Marathon.  It's now been renamed the Sri Chinmoy Marathon in honor of the race's namesake.

The course is eight full loops of the lake and one short loop.  As with any race in August, it can get pretty hot and humid - less than ideal running conditions.  This race was a late addition to my schedule.  I added it after I couldn't run the Escarpment Trail 30K last month.  It was my way of atoning for missing out on 5+ hours of trail running :D

I'll write up a fuller race report tomorrow - but my initial plan was to run a solid (e.g. race pace) 20 miles and walk/jog the remaining 10k.  I ran the first 20 in under 2:55 and felt good enough to keep going.  But by the start of mile 23 - almost at the end of the 8th loop - I hit the wall and did a little walking.  Amazingly, that dark patch lasted for less than a mile and I got back to running!  I finished in 3:56 (unofficial), just under 4 hours and was thrilled :D

Here are the official results from the Sri Chinmony Marathon Team.

Here is my race report.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

2017 Waveny Summer XC Series 2.5 Miler: Race Photos & Results

Never let it be said there isn't room for bonus mileage (even in 10ths) at a 2.5 mile race!  Somehow I managed to miss a CLEARLY marked turn on the trail at the Waveny Summer Series - and ran 2.6 instead of the 2.5 mile course!  It pays to pay attention - haha!  That little bit extra distance kept me from breaking 20 minutes (20:35, 8:14 pace) :O

This was my first Waveny Summer Series race of the summer.  My twice a week Summer Session class ended last week and freed up a bunch of time (albeit far to close to the end of Summer).

Here are the official results from ClubCt

Thanks Jim, for the great photo of me in action :D

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Peekskill Brewery Mile: Race Photos & Results


What a great night (late afternoon) to run a mile!  The Peekskill Brewery Mile went off just after 5 PM and the best part of it (aside from the net downhill) was getting to run it with Katie.  We haven't run an official race together in years - since she was in middle school.  Instead of road races, she spent her middle and high school years playing field hockey and lacrosse :D

And what better way to finish a mile (or any race/run for that matter) than to rehydrate with some excellent beer!  In fact, I'd venture to say it was the prospect of a cold beer that got me to the finish in 6:44 - haha.  I was a little dubious of running fast after the Westport Summer Series 8.4 Miler yesterday, the post-run miles after that race, and the trail miles I ran this morning.  But where there is cold beer, there is always a way :D

Here are the official results from the Taconic Road Runners.
and here are more race photos from the Taconic Road Runners.


Thanks Bette for the great photos of me in action (during the race and post-race with Hiroshi)!

R.I.P. - Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis, a Comedic Force of Nature, died this morning in Las Vegas.  He was 91 years old.  I've written about Jerry a few times on this blog - about the Academy finally recognizing him with a Special Oscar (way, way overdue!) and a brief review of his "Dean & Me (A Love Story)" when it was released almost a decade ago. 

Needless to add, his death is a sad moment.  For those interested, here is a link to Vanity Fair's Obituary.

Who knows, now maybe he can spend some time w/his old partner Dean - as they kick back in Heaven :D

Happy National Radio Day!

Easy way to celebrate National Radio Day - listen to some radio programing today :D

It doesn't matter what kind - AM/FM/SW/Pirate Radio/Scanners/CB/Hams rag chewing...

In fact, if you're a ham - no reason not to get on the air and broadcast a little :D

Anyway you do - celebrate radio!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

2017 Westport Summer Series 8.4 Miler: Race Photos & Results

It was a tough, soupy morning to run a hilly course!  Burying Hill Beach was the start/finish of the eighth race of the Westport Summer Series.  When I got out of my car and walked over to sign up, the humidity was 98% - and it didn't go much lower during the race!  It's probably not an exaggeration to say this was probably the most humid race day of the summer (and we've quite a few humid races)!

As for the race itself - it was my first Westport Summer Series race of the Summer.  I've been doing the Norwalk Summer Series Races this year.  Will do the 10 Miler on Labor Day weekend, which will edge my total up to two of the ten races :O

I finished in just over 1:10 (1:10:02!) - an 8:18 pace.  Given that I finished (and resisted urge to walk some of the hills - especially in Mile 6), what seemed like a swim at some points - I am very happy :D

Here are the race results from the Westport Road Runners.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

2017 Norwalk Summer Series 11 Miler: Race Photos & Results

Great morning to run a race - especially since there was no rain, which had been in the forecast as recently as last night!   The Summer Series 11 Miler is the last of the 5 races for 2017.  But the Half Marathon next month is the unofficial end of the Summer Series.

As for the race itself, when Christine gave me my bib (178) I felt a twinge of sadness at losing my previous race (17) double digit number - haha.  I had a time goal of 1:28 - run the double loop course at an 8 minute pace.  It was a tough order since it was humid enough to see the evaporating wetness from last night's rain come off in occasional eerie patches of wispy steam on random stretches of asphalt!  Give those conditions (and a couple of hills) I was very happy to squeeze under my target with a 1:27:43, 7:59 pace!  It was good enough for 3rd in my age group :D

Next up - the Half Marathon on Saturday, September 16.

Here are the official results from Lightfoot Runners.


Thanks to Tony for great photo of the start!